As John Campbell reminded me, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up, and I guess that was why I just knew this story was going to blow up. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
June 18, the Budget Committee of the Metropolitan Tokyo Assembly is in session. Your Party Assemblywoman Ayaka Shiomura (35) is directing questions toward the prefectural administration concerning its support on pregnancy and maternity when multiple voices from the LDP wing are heard yelling “Get married ASAP!” and “You can’t have children?” Now, heckling is one of the several parliamentarian traditions that we inherited from the Anglos, but this went beyond the pale. And this is the one point in the story arc where contingency played a part. For if Ms. Shiomura had stopped right there, glared at the LDP section and called out the hecklers, announcing that she would not continue with the questions until the culprits had come forth—I’m casting Margaret Thatcher in this role—the committee would have come to a halt, party leaders would have conferred, and the hecklers would have been forced to come forth and apologize and be appropriately censured, and the whole incident would have blown over, with maybe a report on the mostly neglected reports on the local scene pages of the national papers. But she didn’t. Instead, she grimly soldiered on even as tears welled up in her eyes. It was only after the Q&A session that she sought recourse against the LDP. And that was when human nature took over, and the Tokyo metropolitan LDP crapped its pants and threw it up against the fan.